Indian police shot dead two suspected militants from Pakistan in a pre-dawn car chase today near New Delhi, a government official said.
The two men engaged in a gunbattle with the anti-terror squad in the suburb of Noida, which borders the Indian capital, said Amit Kumar, a constable attached to the local superintendent’s office.
Two AK-47 assault rifles, several rounds of ammunition, five hand grenades and a Pakistani passport and identity cards were recovered from the two men, Mr Kumar said.
The two men died on their way to a hospital, he said. An Indian police officer was also injured in the incident.
Before he died one of the men identified himself as Farooq and his companion as Abu Ismail and said they were both from Pakistan, Mr Kumar said. The documents and identities of the two men were being verified by police, he added.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammed Sadiq, declined to comment.
Mr Kumar said police were searching vehicles as part of security procedures ahead of India’s Republic Day on Monday when the car in which the two men were travelling refused to stop.
Police chased the car and the men opened fire, prompting the police to fire back, Mr Kumar said.
Mr Kumar said the investigation was at a preliminary stage and no details had emerged to link the men to a specific terrorist group.
Security is always heavy ahead of the national holiday, but this year it is exceptionally tight because of the November attacks in Mumbai that killed 164 people.
India says the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the Mumbai attacks. Pakistan has said it is investigating that claim, though it has accepted that the one gunman captured alive is a Pakistani.